“Whenever people descend upon the city, Philly rolls out the red carpet,” says Black Thought, the 44-year-old Roots MC and Philadelphia native. As the city gets ready to host the Democratic National Convention starting July 25, he gives Billboard some inside tips: “We’re not always the most welcoming folks, but we know how to turn it up for company.”
Catch A Gig
“It doesn’t get much better in Philadelphia than the Fillmore. It’s one of our newer venues, but it’s a one-stop shop for all kinds of music: great hip-hop, live bands, DJs. Philly has always been known for DJs, and there’s a room at the Fillmore called the Foundry, where Questlove has a monthly residency. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll be able to find it there.” The Fillmore Philly, 29 E. Allen St.
Stuff Your Face
“As you get into the different neighborhoods, everyone has their favorite cheesesteak spot, but you can’t go wrong with Ishkabibble’s, the tried-and-true destination for both regular cheesesteaks and chicken cheesesteaks. It’s right across the street from the TLA, the Theater of the Living Image, which is another Philadelphia staple.” Ishkabibble’s, 337 South St.; TLA, 334 South St.
Blow Off Steam
“The Fishtown neighborhood and the area around Second Street and Gerard are both great, with nice clubs, cool bars, amazing restaurants. Johnny Brenda’s is a good one [it’s all three]. And there’s always been good strip clubs in Philly, it just depends what you’re looking for. You can’t go wrong with Delilah’s. I have a buddy who’s a bartender there.” Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave.; Delilah’s, 100 Spring Garden St.
This article originally appeared in the July 30 issue of Billboard.